How To Prep, Cook And Freeze Dried Chickpeas

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A simple guide on how to prep, cook and freeze-dried chickpeas – dried chickpeas are cheaper and tastier than canned versions and a great store cupboard staple to have on-hand!

Chickpeas

Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are one of my favorite legumes (okay, scratch that, probably THE favorite), and working with dried chickpeas is much easier than you think. In fact, within this blog post, I’ll be taking you through how to prepare dried chickpeas (by pre-soaking them), how to cook dried chickpeas, and then how to store and freeze them – and even what to do with the by-product (hello aquafaba!). All so simple that you’ll probably be wondering why you haven’t been doing it for years!

Once upon a time, I used to buy individual cans of chickpeas. Sure, even now I have an emergency can sitting in the back of my cupboard. But, when you use chickpeas as much as I do and realize not only how much cheaper it is using dried but also avoiding any nasty preservatives or additional salt content that can come along with canned versions, then it’s a win-win.

A handful of chickpeas

Plus, and I’ve found this really is no word of a lie, dried chickpeas that you’ve soaked and cooked at home really do taste better, in my opinion. To where now I basically buy all my ingredients dry and in bulk. In fact, I even have another guide on How to Prep, Cook and Freeze Dried Red Kidney Beans and pretty much always have some form of soaked beans in my apartment, ready to go.

Once prepared, these protein-packed legumes are used for so many delicious recipes too: Simple Fatteh (Pita with Herby Chickpeas and Yogurt)Easy Vegan Rainbow Falafels, Rainbow Hummus 6 ways, a Healthy Vegetable Chickpea Stew, and more. In fact, I have an extensive list of chickpea recipes and tutorials coming to the blog over this next month. So keep your eyes peeled.

How to prepare dried chickpeas

The first step to preparing any dried chickpea is to soak them and I’m not sure why, but the idea of this seemed really daunting when I first began using dried legumes. However, it couldn’t be much simpler.

Soaking the beans allows them to plump up and soften, usually soaking up enough water to grow 2-3 times their original size.

Adding chickpeas to a pot

Note* It is worth noting that if you’re not using your dried chickpeas regularly and have a bag that’s been sitting in your pantry for months and months, then these tend to just not cook as well and can end up chalky/gritty when cooked. So, I like to buy just enough to keep me going for a month or two at a time. 

Soaking chickpeas

Soaking the chickpeas is the first step and super simple. Rinse the chickpeas and place them in a large pan/ bowl.

Soaked chickpeas in a pot

Cover them with water (depending on how much you’re preparing, you always want to have enough water to allow the chickpeas to grow 2-3 times their size, and still be covered by water) and leave to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight – up to 12 hours.

One kilogram of dried chickpeas will yield two kilograms of cooked chickpeas on average. Although, there is also a method of soaking them for a couple of days and allowing them to ‘sprout’, much like how I did with the seeds when growing wheatgrass.

Soaking chickpeas steps

Keep in mind that the chickpeas will expand 2-3 times their size so make sure they are in a big container and there’s plenty of water, a few inches of water at least.

Also note, some people like to add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to the soaking water – which can help the chickpeas soak up even more water and soften them – great for when you want to make a really creamy, smooth hummus. However, I’ll usually stick to plain water and a nice long soak. 

Usually, 1 kg of dried chickpeas yields for me about 2 kg soaked chickpeas (12 cups). A can of chickpeas will yield 1 and a half cups (250 grams) when the chickpea water is drained, which means 1 kg of dried chickpeas will yield on average the equivalent of 8 cans.

The Quick Soak Method

I have to be honest, this isn’t something I normally do, because I feel like the longer soaking method just gives me better results. However, if you’re in a pinch and worried about leaving chickpeas for hours and hours then here is a ‘quick soak’ method for your dried chickpeas.

Start by placing the chickpeas into your large pot with an extra 2-3″ of water covering them. However, this time place the pot on your stovetop and bring them to boil for five minutes. Following that, remove them from the heat and leave them to soak for between 1- 1.5 hours and voila.

Chickpeas covered with water in a pot

Cooking

Once soaked, it’s time to cook the chickpeas (apart from in certain situations, like making delicious falafels, where the recipe uses them once soaked). Drain the soaked chickpeas and give them another rinse.

You can use this soaking water to water your plants, but this is NOT what we use for aquafaba – that’s the cooking liquid. 

Place the soaked chickpeas in a large saucepan and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil and let them cook for 30-40 minutes, until soft.

Cooking dried beans can vary in time somewhat. However, I’ve found that I always need a minimum of 30 minutes.

Note* Add salt if you like. I usually don’t as I will season the meals that I use the chickpeas in, so don’t want to over-consume sodium. 

During the cooking process, a foam can appear on the top of the water. Scoop this out and discard it. Alternatively, add a spoonful of oil to the pan and this should reduce the foaming.

Once tender, drain the chickpeas. Keeping the cooking liquid if you want to use it as aquafaba.

How to store the Chickpeas cooking liquid

To store this liquid, leave it to cool entirely, transfer to an airtight container, and leave in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can then use this liquid as a vegan egg replacer and whip it up into beautiful white peaks. In fact, I have a DIY coming for you soon on exactly how to make and use aquafaba.

Aquafaba - cooked chickpeas liquid

I always make these chickpeas in large batches so that they’re ready to go for a number of meals – so the next step is storing them. First, leave them to cool down completely.

Freezing aquafaba

Note* You can also use an Instant Pot for cooking your soaked chickpeas for reduced cook time. Use a 3:1 ratio of water to chickpeas ( i.e. 3 cups water per cup chickpeas), add your spoonful of oil to prevent the foaming, and then select high pressure (12 psi) for 10-15 minutes.

Storing Chickpeas

In the Fridge: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

A container with cooked chickpeas

In the freezer: If freezing the chickpeas, store in convenient portions in freezer-safe containers or reusable freezer bags for up to 3 months.

When I freeze them, I separate them in portions of 250 grams (1.5 cups). This is also equivalent to the “drained weight” of 1 can of chickpeas.

So, starting with 1 kg of dried chickpeas, after soaking and cooking them, I get 8 portions that I store in freezer-safe bags.

Using the Frozen Chickpeas

The last step is to use your frozen chickpeas and really it couldn’t be any simpler. Remove from the freezer and allow them to thaw then add them to meals while cooking, or reheat by themselves in a pot or in the microwave.

Half cup of cooked chickpeas

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. You can also tag me in your recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie.

How to cook chickpeas

5 from 27 votes
By: Samira
Learn to cook chickpeas like a pro with this simple guide: soak, gently boil, skim any foam off the top, and simmer until soft.
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 portions (of 250 g each)

Equipment

Ingredients 
 

  • 5 cups Dry chickpeas (or 2.2 pounds)
  • water (for soaking and cooking)
  • 3 teaspoon salt (Skip salt if using liquid for aquafaba)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking soda  (Optional for softening chickpeas)

Instructions 

  • Rinse chickpeas under cold water and soak them in a large bowl for at least 6 hours or overnight. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda for softening if you like.
  • After soaking, drain and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly.
  • Transfer the soaked chickpeas to a large pot, cover with fresh water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add salt, cover, and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours until chickpeas are tender.
  • Test for doneness by biting into a chickpea; it should be soft and creamy throughout.
  • Once tender, drain the chickpeas and they’re ready to use in your favorite recipes.

Video

Notes

  • Quick soak option: For best results, soak chickpeas overnight. If short on time, boil dried chickpeas in a pot of water for 10 minutes, then let them soak in the hot water for 1 hour. Drain and rinse before using.
  • If using the cooking liquid for Aquafaba, omit salt entirely.
Check the blog post for how to store and answers to top FAQs!
Course: side dish
Cuisine: American, Middle Eastern
Freezer friendly: 3 Months
Shelf life: 5 Days

Nutrition

Serving: 1portion (of 250g), Calories: 454kcal, Carbohydrates: 76g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 30mg, Potassium: 1091mg, Fiber: 22g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 84IU, Vitamin C: 5mg, Calcium: 131mg, Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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24 Comments

    1. Thanks, Sam! I don’t really recommend the glass pan – I only use it so I can demonstrate what’s happening while I am preparing something. 🙂

  1. Can I put thawed chickpeas in salad (with greens) or do they have to be reheated once they have been frozen and thawed?

  2. 5 stars
    I love your passion about food and do appreciate all your efforts in promoting all the information and experience you’ve got. You are the alpha foodie indeed.

  3. 5 stars
    Fantastic blog. Very helpful. Gives info for all styles of cooking and storing the chickpeas. Nothing but the best from Alpha Foodie!

  4. You say bring to a boil and cook for 30-40 min – do you mean bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40 min or is the pot boiling on high for the full 30-40 min? Other recipes I’ve seen ask to reduce heat. Just wanted clarification!

    1. Hi Alessandra,
      Sorry for the confusion, I meant bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-40min (heat reduced). 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Hey Samira! Great post!

    I’ve been doing my own extensive research on best results from chick pea soaking haha. I love your post here and so glad you mentioned the Sodium Bicarb…cause for me, that has resulted in my best beans yet! I feel like my cook times have to be longer than 30 min though…but maybe that could be my elevation?

    Hope you are well, and thanks for all the amazing info!
    – PlantBasedFoodGuru (aka Ben :))

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Ben!
      Indeed, at higher altitudes, you might have to cook them longer.

    1. I’ve never tried this but I imagine that it would certainly help. I suggest lightly sauteeing the garlic for a minute or so in oil then adding the chickpeas and water and seeing how that works out for you. If you use chopped garlic, when you sieve the chickpeas, the little bits of garlic will remain in with them and continue to flavor the chickpeas.

    1. Hi Kathleen, I do soak my chickpeas on the counter most of the time but in days if I soak and I don’t want to use that same day I would change the water and place them in the fridge so they don’t go off. I find placing them outside the fridge is only okay for the first day of soaking. Next day, they should be either used for any reason or placed in the fridge if not used that day.

      1. Cook 50 mins for dry (probably old, in bag chickpeas) WAY too long. They were mush. I would cut cooking time in half to little less next time. They were not soaked. Followed to letter. I appreciate your direction either way! Maybe not on high in my instant pot? They all going to end up as garlic hummus anyway so not a disaster

      2. Hi there,
        When using an Instant Pot (or pressure cooker) you need to reduce the time. I’ve suggested cooking them on High for 10-15 minutes with an instant pot. In a saucepan on the stove-top, you need to cook them for about 30-40 minutes.